BDS and anti-“occupation” = anti-Zionism = anti-Jewish bigotry

The modern-day Jew-haters, particularly the Europeans, who disguise their racism as anti-Israelism – or, to be more specific, anti-settlerism (to coin a new phrase), or anti-Likudism for that matter, and who declare themselves horrified and offended to be labelled “antisemitic” or “anti-Jewish”, have in fact tipped themselves so far over the edge in their bigotry that they are promoting boycotts of the most ridiculous or innocuous projects simply because they are connected to Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.

Paris plages sur Seine 2015

Paris plages sur Seine 2015

Thus we learned that the city of Paris’s “Tel Aviv beach on the Seine” day has become the target of a boycott attempt for no reason other than that Tel Aviv is a city in Israel. Remember – we are not talking about “occupied” territory or “evil settlers” or the Likud or anything to do with politics at all. We are talking about a beach. Sun, sand, sea, paddle-ball and bathing costumes:

Controversy is growing in France following the Paris town council’s decision for Tel Aviv be one of the cities honored in the Paris-Beaches summer event organized every year by the municipality.

The month-long festival turns the banks of the Seine River and the Bassin de la Villette into beaches, trucking in sand and other coastal paraphernalia.

This year, each day will be dedicated to a different famous beach around the world and, Thursday, the outdoor space is slated to be turned into the shores of Tel Aviv.

But across social media, and even among local politicians, the decision has caused an outcry. Danielle Simonnet, a left-wing lawmaker, called for the day devoted to Tel Aviv to be canceled.

In an interview on French Inter radio on Monday, Simonnet instead called for turning the day into “a peace protest, in support of fraternity, in support of the fight against all forms of racism and anti-Semitism, and to back recognition of the Palestinian state.”

“Just one year after the massacres over the Gaza Strip by the Israeli state and army, the City of Paris dares to organize in the frame of its cultural partnerships with the big cities of the world a day honoring Tel Aviv,” she wrote in a letter of protest.

The deputy mayor’s defence of the decision was not as welcome as it might have been. In fact it was a stinging backhander to Israel:

Bruno Julliard the first deputy mayor of Paris, said on Sunday: “We refuse any parallels between the brutal colonization policy of Israel and the city of Tel Aviv, which is a progressive city and a symbol of tolerance.

“We will not let an entire population be punished for its government’s colonialist policy,” he added.

Yeah, because Tel Aviv is such a colonial place, displacing all those thousands of tons of, um, sand in order to build the first Jewish city…

Yes, I’m as disgusted as you are.  And yes, this is antisemitism plain and simple. To boycott the depiction of an Israeli beach only because it is Israeli and for no other reason is not anti-fascist or anti-imperialist or any other such radical-chic term. It is anti-Jewish bigotry.

But how can we be surprised at such antisemitic attitudes in France when the EU itself is seeking to label – and thus enable an eventual boycott of – items produced in Judea and Samaria by Jews only. They are not promoting a boycott of items produced in these areas by Arabs – in other words, an anti-Jewish boycott of which the Nazis would be proud.  As the blog First One Through writes, the EU’s choice of labels is “Made in the West Bank” or “Antisemite”: (emphases are added):

From the EU’s perspective, not only does it seek to inform European consumers about the precise location of origin of foreign products, it wishes to uniquely harm Israel as it disputes the Israeli claim over Area C (despite the Israel-Palestinian Authority agreement noted above). It is therefore requiring a change of labels from “Made in Israel” to “Made in the West Bank” for items produced east of the Green Line.

Israel has attempted to stop the European Union from embarking on this policy. It fears that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement will hurt its economy by not only not purchasing Israeli products, but by trying to ban the items from store shelves. […]  The reality is that many organizations that are promoting the EU policy for distinct labelling of Israel vs. “West Bank” seek to boycott and harm all of Israel. For example, Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA) prints advertisements that call for boycotting all products from anywhere in Israel and its territory.

The European Union distinction of strictly labelling products to exclude Israeli territory is unique for Israel.  The EU makes no distinctions for countries where it does not challenge the legal authority (like the US with American Samoa), AND for other countries where it disagrees with the claim on disputed land.

Double standards and unique critical attention for Israel is considered anti-Semitism, even by US President Barack Obama who said “[if] you acknowledge the active presence of anti-Semitism—that it’s not just something in the past, but it is current—if you acknowledge that there are people and nations that, if convenient, would do the Jewish people harm because of a warped ideology… you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated.”

It would appear that many Europeans would choose to wear the “Anti-Semitism” label with honor.

The Norwegians too have gone right over the edge into drooling antisemitism: A Norwegian film festival has banned an Israeli film about disabled children and stated that they will only show Israeli films about the “occupation”:

A Norwegian film festival recently rejected an Israeli documentary on children with disabilities, telling its director that it supports the boycott on the Jewish state and will not screen Israeli movies unless they deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A still from the Israeli film The Other Dreamers

Roy Zafrani, the director of “The Other Dreamers,” was turned down by organizers in a decision he termed “absurd,” the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Wednesday.

“I’m sorry but we can’t show this film,” a letter from the organizers to Zafrani said. “We support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel so unless the films are about the illegal occupation, or deals with the occupation or the blockade of Gaza, or otherwise about the discrimination of Palestinians, we can’t show them.”

“Film is meant to bring people together, not drive them apart,” he told the paper. “I see films from all over the world, from Syria to Iran, and learn about the people beyond their leadership. No one would boycott an Iranian director because of what his government does, so if he doesn’t get that sort of reception, neither should I.”

Zafrani maintained that the film received no funding from the Israeli government.

“It’s absurd. I’m not a political man. I am not responsible for my government’s actions,” he said. “This is an entirely independent film, with zero funding from Israeli public grants, so the boycott cannot even be justified by saying that it was made with government support.”

And you know what? Even if the film DID receive Israeli governmental support, why should it be boycotted? What do disabled children have to do with politics or culture? Only a Jew-hater who refuses to see anything inherently good in the Jews, oops, I mean Israel, at all, would come to such a decision.

Zafrani should not have used the lack of government funding as an excuse. It just makes him sound like a grovelling ghetto Jew, weak and pathetic.  I’m glad he called the Norwegians out on their bigotry even if he cowardly declined to name the festival in question:

“This boycott is simply because it’s a film that shows a different, nice side of Israel,” he added.

And THAT is the definition of Jew-hatred.

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7 Responses to BDS and anti-“occupation” = anti-Zionism = anti-Jewish bigotry

  1. DP-PT says:

    The latest fact sheet I could find of Israeli-Norwegian trade is for 2011 – see this link: http://www.export.gov.il/files/economy/factsheet11/norway.pdf
    It doesn’t seem like we export to them anything much (so we don’t have much to lose trade-wise), but we do seem to import a lot of fish, US$ 94 million worth,, probably mostly smoked salmon. I don’t know how to go about organising a social media boycott, but why not react to the Norwegians and their overtly antisemitic behaviour (nothing new by the way…..) by boycotting their smoked salmon in Israeli shops and substituting our purchases with the Canadian product, after all they are good friends of ours. Anyone out there prepared to take up this challenge?

    • anneinpt says:

      I am! I much prefer Canadian or Scottish smoked salmon to the Norwegian. But it’s hard to find in Israel. You want to set up an import-export business? I’ll be your best customer!

  2. Pete says:

    WOW – Europe is falling apart.
    I agree with you – that is serious anti-Jewish bigotry.
    What a world … we live in.

    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      Pete, I’m not sure that Europe is any worse than it used to be. It’s just that it’s become permissible, if not downright fashionable, to display one’s anti-Zionist and even anti-Jewish credentials once more.

      Yeah, what a world indeed.

  3. Reality says:

    Dp-pt what a great idea. Set up a fb page or just post that from now on we should all boycott as much as possible anything Norwegian especially salmon.Do we import any French stuff? Perhaps if you start this &task people to add anything they have seen in stores which is imported from any of the BDS countries, we could publish the lists &rafter a few months these countries may feel the “sanctions”

  4. Brian Goldfarb says:

    And, of course, when films (or any other cultural product) are boycotted because of their alleged funding by the state – thus making the film-maker an agent of the state – the boycotters conveniently ignore any grant or subsidy they receive from the Arts Council(UK) or equivalent body or a local authority – “oh, that’s different”. Really? How?

    I took this stance when The Tricycle Theatre attempted to censor the UK Jewish Film Festival this year (as did lots of others). It is my understanding that the Tricycle is suffering badly over the withdrawal of the Jewish community’s (and other’s) patronage and grants to them.

    Good.

    Organised institutional boycotts (as opposed to individual boycotts) are always to be rejected and reviled.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, I remember the Tricycle Theatre scandal. Good for you and your friends. And good that they’re suffering. Now they know what a boycott feels like, maybe they won’t be so quick to impose one again.

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